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Category: classical

Saturday, December 13th

Bach cello festival (final day)

Cello Suite No. 6 in D major; Matt Haimovitz (cello), live, Montreal, 2011

Prelude


Allemande


Courante


Sarabande


Gavottes 1 and 2


Gigue

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lagniappe

random thoughts

Joy sometimes comes not in waves but droplets.

Friday, December 12th

Bach cello festival (day five)

Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor; Mstislav Rostropovich (1927-2007), live, France (Vezelay), 1991


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lagniappe

art beat: Sunday at the Art Institute of Chicago

Oribe-Type Ewer (glazed stoneware), early 17th century, Japan

Oribe-Type_Ewer,_early_17th_century,_Japan,_glazed_stoneware_-_Art_Institute_of_Chicago_-_DSC00207

 

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Thursday, December 11th

Bach cello festival (day four)

Cello Suite No. 4 in E-flat major; Pablo Casals (cello), recording, 1939

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lagniappe

 art beat

Paul Strand (1890-1976), Toward the Sugar House, Vermont, 1944

5441d56817ea7.image

Wednesday, December 10th

Bach cello festival (day three)

Cello Suite No. 3 in C major; Jean-Guihen Queyras (cello), live, Austria (Salzburg), 2007

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lagniappe

reading table

The life of a human being draws back, comes into view like an animal at the edge of the forest, and disappears again.

***

The outside world is too small, too clear-cut, too truthful, to contain everything that a person has room for inside.

***

The only essential thing for life is forgoing smugness, moving into the house instead of admiring it and hanging garlands around it.

—Franz Kafka (Rivka Galchen, “What kind of funny is he?,” London Review of Books, 12/4/14)

Tuesday, December 9th

Bach cello festival (day two)

Cello Suite No. 2 in D minor; Wen-Sinn Yang (cello), live, Germany (Quedlinburg), 2005

Prelude, Allemande, Courante

 

Sarabande, Minuets 1 and 2

 

Gigue

Monday, December 8th

Bach cello festival (day one)

Suppose you had twenty-four hours to live. What would you want to hear? These six cello suites, which I’ve been listening to for over forty years, are where I might turn. (Why not go out dancing?)

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Cello Suite No. 1 in G major; Denise Djokic (cello), live, Canada (Winnipeg), 2012

Prelude


Allemande


Courante


Sarabande


Minuets 1 and 2


Gigue

Saturday, December 6th

two takes

Need a lift?

Charles Ives (1874-1954), Ragtime Dance No. 4 (1904)

Alarm Will Sound, live, New York, 2013


***

Orchestra New England, recording, 1990


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lagniappe

musical thoughts

As I remember some of the dances as a boy, and also from father’s description of some of the old dancing and fiddle playing, there was more variety of tempo than in the present-day dances. In some parts of the hall a group would be dancing in polka, while in another, a waltz. Some of the players in the band would, in an impromptu way, pick up with the polka, and some with the waltz, and some with a march. Often the piccolo or cornet would throw in asides. Sometimes a change in tempo, or a mixed rhythm would be caused by a fiddler who, after playing three or four hours steadily, was getting a little sleepy. Or maybe another player was seated too near the hard cider barrel. Whatever the reason for these changes and simultaneous playing of things, I remember distinctly catching a kind of music that was natural and interesting and which was decidedly missed when everybody came down ‘blimp’ on the same beat again.

—Charles Ives

Thursday, December 4th

sounds of New York (day three)

If this life of ours isn’t easy, why should our music be?

Alex Mincek (1975-), String Quartet No. 3; Mivos Quartet, live, New York, 2013


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lagniappe

reading table

By Emily Dickinson (1830-1886; Franklin 384)

It dont sound so terrible—quite—as it did—
I run it over—”Dead”, Brain—”Dead”.
Put it in Latin—left of my school—
Seems it don’t shriek so—under rule.

Turn it, a little—full in the face
A Trouble looks bitterest—
Shift it—just—
Say “When Tomorrow comes this way—
I shall have waded down one Day”

.

I suppose it will interrupt me some
Till I get accustomed—but then the Tomb
Like other new Things—shows largest—then—
And smaller, by Habit—

It’s shrewder then
Put the Thought in advance—a Year—
How like “a fit”—then—
Murder—wear!

Monday, December 1st

If I wanted to listen in on a conversation in a language I already know, I could go to Starbucks.

Christian Wolff (1934-), Pulse (1998); Jens Bracher (trumpet) & Julian Belli (percussion), live, Germany (Mannheim), 2011

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lagniappe

reading table

The Idea
by Mark Strand (April 11, 1934-November 29, 2014)

For us, too, there was a wish to possess
Something beyond the world we knew, beyond ourselves,
Beyond our power to imagine, something nevertheless
In which we might see ourselves; and this desire
Came always in passing, in waning light, and in such cold
That ice on the valley’s lakes cracked and rolled,
And blowing snow covered what earth we saw,
And scenes from the past, when they surfaced again,
Looked not as they had, but ghostly and white
Among false curves and hidden erasures;
And never once did we feel we were close
Until the night wind said, “Why do this,
Especially now? Go back to the place you belong;”
And there appeared , with its windows glowing, small,
In the distance, in the frozen reaches, a cabin;
And we stood before it, amazed at its being there,
And would have gone forward and opened the door,
And stepped into the glow and warmed ourselves there,
But that it was ours by not being ours,
And should remain empty. That was the idea.

Tuesday, November 25th

Thankful I am, two days before Thanksgiving, for things that sound unlike anything I’ve ever heard before.

Horatiu Radulescu (1942-2008), String Quartet No. 5 (“before the universe was born”); JACK Quartet, live, Los Angeles, 2011

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